Preview: Louisville Cardinals vs. Florida State Seminoles

The Cardinals are hitting the road for their ACC opener against the Seminoles.
Publish date:

Louisville Cardinals (2-1, 0-0 ACC) at Florida State Seminoles (0-3, 0-1 ACC)

- Kickoff: Saturday, September 25 at 3:30 p.m. EST
- Location: Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.
- Weather Conditions: Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High around 85F. Winds light and variable.
- How To Watch: ESPN2
- How To Listen: WHAS 840/790 WKRD
- Betting Favorite: Louisville -1.5
- All-Time Series: Florida State leads 16-5
- Last Meeting: Louisville won 48-16 on Oct. 24, 2020 (Cardinal Stadium - Louisville, Ky.)

Game Notes


  • Louisville opens Atlantic Coast Conference action when the Cardinals travel to Tallahassee, Fla., to face Florida State.
  • Since 2014, the Cardinals are 3-4 all-time in Atlantic Coast Conference openers, but have dropped their last three games to start the league.
  • Louisville improved to 2-1 with a hard-fought 42-35 victory over UCF on Friday night at Cardinal Stadium. Jaylin Alderman returned an interception 66 yards for a touchdown with 13 seconds left to propel the Cardinals.
    • . It was Louisville’s first interception run back for a touchdown since Trumaine Washington took one back against Kent State on Sept. 23, 2017. Alderman is the first Louisville true freshman with an interception return for a touchdown since Tom LaFramboise against Tennessee Tech on Sept. 16, 1961.
  • Quarterback Malik Cunningham accounted for 364 yards and three touchdowns in the win over UCF. The third-year starter rushed for 99 yards and two scores and threw for 265 yards and one touchdown.
  • Tight end Marshon Ford recorded his first 100-yard game, catching eight passes for 100 yards and his 14th career touchdown. He became the first tight end with 100 yards receiving since the 2016 season (Cole Hikutini).
  • WR Braden Smith threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to RB Trevion Cooley in the third quarter. Smith is the first Louisville wide receiver to complete a touchdown pass since Patrick Carter threw a 21-yard touchdown to Anthony Allen vs. Wake Forest in the 2007 Orange Bowl.
  • Linebacker Monty Montgomery recorded a season high nine tackles as the Cardinals held the UCF offense to 420 yards of total offense.
  • The Cardinals set season highs on Friday night for total offense (501 yards), passing yards (310), rushing yards (191) and points (42). This was the ninth time Louisville has amassed at least 500 yards of total offense under Scott Satterfield, and the seventh time the Cardinals have scored at least 40 points during his tenure. The Cardinals are 13-2 under Satterfield when scoring at least 30 points and 7-0 when scoring 40 or more.
  • Louisville had 10 different players catch a pass in the win, the first time at least 10 players had a reception since Oct. 5, 2018 against Georgia Tech.
  • UCF entered the night with just 44 rushing yards allowed through two games this season. Louisville totaled 191 on the ground in the win.
  • The Knights were averaging 622 yards of total offense this season before the Cardinals limited them to 420. UCF had run 85 and 86 offensive plays in its first two games. The Knights ran just 63 plays on Friday.
  • The Cardinals rushed for a season high 191 yards and three touchdowns in the 42-35 win over the Knights. UofL averaged a solid 5.2 yards per carry, with six rushes of 10 or more yards and two of over 20 yards. Jalen Mitchell and Malik Cunningham each had a team-best 27-yard runs.

Florida State

  • After opening the year with two straight home games, FSU hit the road for its ACC opener at Wake Forest and now is back in Tallahassee to host Louisville and Syracuse in consecutive weeks.
  • FSU is tied for 3rd in the ACC and for 12th nationally with an average of 8.3 tackles for loss per game. Jermaine Johnson II ranks 1st in the NCAA with an average of 2.3 tackles for loss per game and is the only ACC defender averaging more than 2.0 TFLs per game.
  • Florida State has recorded at least 8.0 tackles for loss in each of its first three games in 2021. The last time FSU had three consecutive games with at least 8.0 tackles for loss was in 2017 when it registered 9.0 at Clemson, 11.0 vs. Delaware State and 10.0 at Florida.
  • The Seminoles rank 2nd in the ACC and tied for 10th in the NCAA with an average of 4.0 sacks per game, led by Jermaine Johnson II’s 1.67 sacks per game that are 1st in the conference and rank 2nd nationally. Johnson also ranks 4th in the conference and 24th nationally with an average of 9.3 tackles per game.
  • FSU is the only team with two rushers in the top-8 of the ACC in rushing yards per carry. Jashaun Corbin ranks 4th in the conference with an average of 7.57 yards per carry, and Treshaun Ward’s average of 6.76 yards per rush is 8th. Corbin’s average is 2nd in the conference and 13th nationally among rushers with at least 10 carries per game.
  • Florida State rushed for 264 yards in the season opener vs. No. 9 Notre Dame, the program’s most rushing yards against a ranked opponent since totaling 287 yards on the ground vs. No. 10 Clemson on Sept. 22, 2012.
  • Quarterback McKenzie Milton has started the past two games for FSU, the 34th and 35th of his career. He is 34-for-54 with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Wyatt Rector vs. Jacksonville State, both of their firsts as Seminoles. Milton's start against JSU was his first since Nov. 23, 2018, when he suffered a leg injury that cost him his entire 2019 and 2020 seasons while at UCF.
  • Ja'Khi Douglas caught a 60-yard touchdown against No. 9 Notre Dame, his third career touchdown catch and second straight game with a score of at least 60 yards. He caught a 68- yard touchdown in the 2020 season finale against Duke. Douglas led FSU with 80 yards on three catches against ND
  • Sixth-year transfer Andrew Parchment caught one pass against Notre Dame, an 8-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter that began FSU's rally from an 18-point deficit. Parchment caught 89 passes for 1,028 yards and 9 touchdowns over the past two years at Kansas.
  • Ontaria Wilson's 91 yards at Wake Forest are the most for a Seminole receiver this season. The bulk of his yards came on a 65-yard scoring pass from Jordan Travis, FSU's longest reception of the year.
  • Kalen DeLoach and D.J. Lundy started the first two games at linebacker for the Seminoles. DeLoach set a career-high with eight tackles against No. 9 Notre Dame, including his first career tackle for loss. A week later, against Jacksonville State, DeLoach added seven tackles and his first career sack. DeLoach entered 2021 with just 10 career tackles.
  • Sidney Williams has started the past two games and has a turnover in each game - he recovered a fumble against Jacksonville State and returned it 27 yards to set up FSU's first touchdown and had his first career interception at Wake Forest.
  • Travis Jay nabbed his second career interception in FSU's season opener against No. 9 Notre Dame. Jay's interception came on a hail mary at the end of regulation that forced overtime. His two career interceptions came in back-to-back games (2020 finale vs. Duke).
  • After missing much of the 2020 season due to injury, senior Meiko Dotson has started each of the first three games this season. The FAU transfer led the country with nine interceptions in 2019 and still ranks 3rd nationally among active players in career interceptions.

Depth Charts

Here are the depth charts for both teams ahead of their matchup: Louisville vs. Florida State


See how the Cardinals stack up against the Seminoles, and who the statistical models favor: Tale of the Tape, Predictions: Louisville vs. Florida State

Uniform Report

Louisville will be wearing all white helmets, jerseys and pants, and Florida State has not yet announced their uniforms.

Additional Coverage

(Photo of Jordan Travis, Ramon Puryear: ACC Pool)

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